Enhancing Self-Efficacy: 5 Ways to Live Healthier and Happier Life

Enhancing Self-Efficacy: 5 Ways To Live Healthier And Happier Life
Enhancing Self-Efficacy: 5 Ways to Live Healthier and Happier Life

We all aspire to lead happy and fulfilling lives. We all wish to possess the necessary skills to succeed, but life is fraught with challenges and obstacles that will make you feel being happy and content is an uphill task. In life, it is your self-efficacy that determines how much you have what it takes to make you happy, or miserable. Self-efficacy is the belief in your capacity to act in the ways necessary to achieve a  favorable outcome from any task, challenge, or situation. Self-efficacy is a powerful psychological concept that influences your journey and ability to accomplish things. So how do you develop this level of belief in yourself and your capabilities? In this article, you will learn what is self-efficacy and five ways to improve it for a healthier and happier life.

The Concept of Self Efficacy

It was renowned psychologist Albert Bandura who first introduced self-efficacy as a psychological concept. Bandura observed how a person’s belief in their ability was a  fundamental element of human motivation and behavior. He found how people with high self-efficacy are more likely to approach challenges confidently, set ambitious goals, and persevere in the face of setbacks. For example, if you are confident about taking on a new task at work, you might be highly motivated to take every necessary action to accomplish that task. On the other hand, if you feel less confident about a task, you might be less inclined to act in attempting it. This is one of the basic notions of self-efficacy, where your confidence increases your resilience to overcome obstacles in completing a task.

The Four Major Influences of Self Efficacy

In an article titled Self-Efficacy: Toward a Unifying Theory of Behavioral Change , Bandura explains how there are four major sources that influence self-efficacy:

Enhancing Self-Efficacy_ 5 Ways To Live Healthier And Happier Life 2023052901
Enhancing Self-Efficacy_ 5 Ways To Live Healthier And Happier Life 2023052901
  1. Mastery Experiences: Mastering experiences increases your confidence levels through repeated success. However, mastery experiences can positively and negatively affect your self-efficacy. Positive experiences can make you feel more capable, while bad experiences can make you feel less capable.
  2. Vicarious Experiences: According to Bandura, watching others succeed or fail at something helps us figure out how likely we are to succeed or fail at the same thing based on how similar or different we are from the person. For example, watching Usain Bolt win a 100-meter race will not increase your self-efficacy of achieving a similar goal simply because you perceive a greater discrepancy between yourself and Bolt.
  3. Verbal Persuasion: This influence on self-efficacy determines how people talk to each other. In this case, your ability to handle a task is affected by how other people feel whether you can or cannot do so. The more positive the feedback, the more likely it influences your self-efficacy.
  4. Emotional Physiological States: Self-efficacy is influenced by how a person feels on the inside, both emotionally and physically. A positive attitude might make you feel more capable, while a negative attitude might make you feel less capable.

How Self-Efficacy Impacts Daily Life

Self-efficacy impact life in various ways. It can greatly determine a more positive outcome to be more content and be happy about yourself. 

  • It Improves Resilience: Self-efficacy plays a crucial role in building resilience, which is the ability to bounce back from adversity. Research has found that individuals with higher self-efficacy handle stress better than those with low self-efficacy. They also exhibit greater psychological well-being.
  • It Instigates Healthier Behavior: Self-efficacy is closely linked to healthy behavior and adopting healthy lifestyle habits. Research found that individuals with higher self-efficacy were more likely to exercise regularly, adopt healthy diets, quit smoking, and avoid alcohol.
  • Academic Achievement: Self-efficacy significantly impacts academic achievement and learning outcomes. Research studies found that lower and higher self-efficacy students responded differently towards their academic goals. Students with higher self-efficacy were more motivated, attempted more challenging goals, and performed better academically.
  • It Helps Overcome Obstacles: Self-efficacy helps people rise to the occasion and perceive obstacles as challenges rather than barriers that cannot be overcome. Individuals with higher self-efficacy exhibit greater resilience, display unique problem-solving skills.

5 Ways to Increase Self-Efficacy

Self-efficacy isn’t something you can achieve overnight. While there are some individuals blessed with a high level of confidence, there are others in which self-efficacy can be increased to a great extent by following these five simple tips and advice.

Enhancing Self-Efficacy_ 5 Ways To Live Healthier And Happier Life 2023052902
Enhancing Self-Efficacy_ 5 Ways To Live Healthier And Happier Life 2023052902

1. Set Realistic and Attainable Goals

Set goals that are challenging but, at the same time, reachable. This is a great way to boost self-efficacy. Break up big goals into smaller jobs that you can handle. Every little Success inspires confidence and reassures you that you can do it. Celebrate every important milestone to motivate yourself and keep track of progress. Success builds Success.

2. Get Out of Your  Comfort Zone and Try New Things

People tend to feel more at ease in settings they’ve been in before. So, the newer things you allow into your life, the less likely it is that new tasks will scare you. If you try new things, you might learn more skills, but you might also find yourself in situations like the ones you’ve already been through. Trying something new could also fail, but failure is part of learning. An inevitable part of any journey, it does not define your potential for success. Rather than shortcomings, embrace failures valuable learning opportunities. Analyze what went wrong and identify areas for improvement. Use your setbacks as stepping stones to refine your skills, strategies, and approach.

3. Build A Support Network and Increase Social Connections.

When you surround yourself with a positive and supportive network, it can significantly impact your self-efficacy. Seek out individuals who believe in your potential. Accept their feedback which can do much to encourage and motivate you on your journey. Surround yourself with people who matter, not people who are toxic and envious of you. Engage in like-minded communities or groups where you can share and exchange experiences, seek advice, and find inspiration. Sharing your challenges and successes with trusted friends, mentors, or support groups helps you with valuable insights and motivation.

4. Visualize Success, and Think Positively.

Positivity isn’t only about thinking positive; it is recognizing and addressing the stress and self-doubt within you and finding a solution to it. Visualization is a powerful technique that can enhance self-efficacy. Visualize yourself accomplishing your goals. Visualize the process, the difficulty, the solutions, skills, and strategies involved in your day-to-day tasks. Visualizing programs your mind for achievement. It reinforces the beliefs in your abilities and helps you embrace positive self-affirmation. According to research, self-affirmation can motivate you positively and resists threats to your perceived self-competence.

5. Practice Makes Perfect

The more you practice, the more you improve at something. Practice increases confidence to do better at the same task in a different situation. Break tasks into manageable steps and tackle them one at a time. Indulge in activities that align with your goals, even if they are beyond your comfort zone. Every little step of success will strengthen your belief in your abilities. Do not try to overcome too much in too little time, and do not attempt stressful multi-tasking. Rather, do one thing at a time and do it well, the sense of achievement is greater. Adopt a growth mindset and acknowledge how skills and abilities can be developed


Remember, self-efficacy improves your life to be happier and healthier. By nurturing and cultivating self-efficacy within yourself, you unlock your inner potential and find new confidence to face challenges and embark on a more positive journey of personal growth and mental well-being.

Andrew Alpin

Andrew Kevin Alpin is a creative content specialist from Kolkata with several years of experience in content creation focusing on health and wellness. He possesses good insight on psychology and human behavior, including all all aspects of health. Andrew currently works as a Freelance Educational Content Director and Creative head at Enso Integrated Medicine, Bengaluru.